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Article

Does Energy Community Membership Change Sustainable Attitudes and Behavioral Patterns? Empirical Evidence from Community Wind Energy in Germany

1
Department of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Siegen, Adolf-Reichwein-Straße 2, 57068 Siegen, Germany
2
Department of Environmental Economics and Economic Policy, Technische Universität Berlin, Str. des 17. Juni 135, 10623 Berlin, Germany
3
Ifok GmbH, Reinhardtstraße 58, 10117 Berlin, Germany
4
Kelso-Professorship for Comparative Law, East European Economic Law and European Legal Policy, European University Viadrina, Grosse Scharrnstr. 59, 15230 Frankfurt (Oder), Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Antonis A. Zorpas and Krushna Mahapatra
Energies 2022, 15(3), 822; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15030822
Received: 30 October 2021 / Revised: 21 December 2021 / Accepted: 6 January 2022 / Published: 24 January 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Consumers' Behavioral Economics in Energy Transition)
Community energy is seen as a helping hand for local, decentralized energy transition. Besides the main goal of supporting the community-friendly and socially acceptable development of renewable energies, the hope is also that a pro-environmental influence on sustainability behavior will be triggered when joining a community energy project. An analysis of a survey among 16 community energy projects in Germany, with 565 completed questionnaires, shows that a certain part of the members pays more attention to their energy behavior and develop a more positive attitude towards a decentralized energy transition and citizen participation after joining the community energy project. Therefore, we can empirically support that climate protection projects, such as community energy, influence pro-environmental attitudes and behavior, but this does not apply equally to all population groups. Members with higher income and stronger interest in returns are less likely to change their behavior. Based on these findings, we recommend the development of community energy policies that are more responsive to differences in social structure and address both privileged and underprivileged groups in a sophisticated way using specific offers and modes of involvement within the associations. View Full-Text
Keywords: renewable energy; community energy; behavior change; social acceptance; pro-environmental behavior; energy efficiency; hierarchical logistic regression renewable energy; community energy; behavior change; social acceptance; pro-environmental behavior; energy efficiency; hierarchical logistic regression
MDPI and ACS Style

Radtke, J.; Yildiz, Ö.; Roth, L. Does Energy Community Membership Change Sustainable Attitudes and Behavioral Patterns? Empirical Evidence from Community Wind Energy in Germany. Energies 2022, 15, 822. https://doi.org/10.3390/en15030822

AMA Style

Radtke J, Yildiz Ö, Roth L. Does Energy Community Membership Change Sustainable Attitudes and Behavioral Patterns? Empirical Evidence from Community Wind Energy in Germany. Energies. 2022; 15(3):822. https://doi.org/10.3390/en15030822

Chicago/Turabian Style

Radtke, Jörg, Özgür Yildiz, and Lucas Roth. 2022. "Does Energy Community Membership Change Sustainable Attitudes and Behavioral Patterns? Empirical Evidence from Community Wind Energy in Germany" Energies 15, no. 3: 822. https://doi.org/10.3390/en15030822

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